Antonovic reviews Ursula T. Gibson's The
Blossoms of the Night-Blooming Cereus
The Blossoms of the Night-Blooming Cereus
by Ursula T. Gibson
Johnson said, "The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new
things familiar, and familiar things new."
In Ursula T. Gibson's collection of poetry entitled, "The
Blossoms of the Night-Blooming Cereus", she does just that.
from the introductory poem, "Why I Write Poetry", a rhyming humorous
light-hearted piece that captures the essence of why poets are driven to
write, Ms. Gibson manages to draw the reader in on a poetic journey that
varies in both subject and style, but is always consistently good. A
diversity of topics are covered, such as lost love (Farewell, or How To
Say Good-bye Gracefully), death(Why Should I Cry?), every day, ordinary
moments(Surprises), and betrayal(You Lied To Me!). Styles
range from list poems, to rhyming pieces that are easily executed and
never forced, to lyrical poems and even a senryu, but Ms. Gibson's voice
remains steady, constant, and appealing, compelling the reader to explore
whatever subject or style is at hand.
well known as the very capable editor of Poetic
Voices, it is as a poet that Ursula T. Gibson really shines.
Each poem, regardless of form or content, is extremely polished,
while remaining seemingly effortless. Readers are left to feel their own
sentiments, or explore their own experiences while delving into one of Ms.
all poems in this volume are not biographical, "The Blossoms of the
Night-Blooming Cereus" is almost like holding someone's life in your
hands, as all good poetry books are. While all the experiences may not be
Ms. Gibson's, the observances and the manner in which she conveys those
observances most distinctly are, providing for thought-provoking reading.
Gibson's frank style speaks well to the topics at hand. Her manner is
always light and open-ended in the sense that she never overwhelms the
reader with emotion or browbeats with a preachy message. Even
when "darker" subjects are covered, there remains a persistently
cheerful outlook, a glimmer of something better to keep the reader looking
up and never wallowing. The
poems that are humorous are particularly delightful and often have a
rhyming pattern that makes them even more effective.
is something about this collection that reads almost like a novel, even
though the poems are not ordered in a formal manner, nor categorized.
Indeed, they are almost representative of snatches of conversation between
two friends at the kitchen table over a cup of coffee, if one of those
friends were a gifted story teller and poet.
I must confess that I did what I never advise other readers of
poetry to do: I devoured the book in one sitting, and only then took the
time to go back and read each poem over several times more slowly.
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